As the 2021 lacrosse season draws ever closer and optimistically, players of all ages return to play, it’s important to note that there are some equipment guidelines that players, parents, coaches and officials should keep in mind. Use of required and certified equipment ensures the highest levels of safety for all participants.
All levels of play should only use certified lacrosse balls for games and practices. Certified lacrosse balls meet the NOCSAE performance standard, ND049. Verification of certification for lacrosse balls can be checked online at the listing maintained by the independent Safety Equipment Institute (SEI).
All girls’ and women's eyewear must meet the current ASTM performance standard, F3077, and be certified to be legal for play. Look for the SEI mark on your product and check the SEI online listing for product certification.
Goalie Chest Protectors
Effective January 1, 2021, all goalie chest protectors must be designed for lacrosse and meet the NOCSAE performance standard, ND200. This requirement is mandatory in the US Lacrosse boys’ and girls’ youth rules, the NFHS boys’ and girls’ high school rules, and the NCAA men’s and women’s rules. All products that meet the NOCSAE standard, ND200, must be certified by the Safety Equipment Institute and include the NOCSAE Lacrosse label shown below.
Beginning in 2022, all field players in the boys’/men’s game must have shoulder pads or protectors that also meet the NOCSAE performance standard, ND200.
The use of headgear remains OPTIONAL in girls’ and women’s lacrosse, however, any headgear that is used must meet the ASTM performance standard, F3137. Additionally, all women’s headgear products that include integrated eyewear must meet the current ASTM eyewear standard, F3077, in addition to the ASTM headgear standard, F3137. Questions regarding the compliance of specific headgear models that include integrated eyewear should be directed to the manufacturers. The primary manufacturers of integrated headgear are Cascade (1-800-537-1702) and Hummingbird (1-888-501-1590). Certified headgear products are listed on the SEI website.
“Through the work of both our Sports Science and Safety Committee and our Rules Committee, US Lacrosse is committed to developing rules and strategies to minimize the injury risk for athletes,” said Caitlin Kelley, women’s game director at US Lacrosse. “We want to make the most informed decisions we can and utilize data specific to the men’s and women’s games as we shape existing rules and equipment.”
US Lacrosse works cooperatively with both the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the NCAA to write the rules for lacrosse, and the organizations often work together on rule development and player safety issues. The rules of lacrosse govern games and the equipment used.
To assist all lacrosse consumers, US Lacrosse publishes an online Equipment Guide with suggested recommendations in purchasing equipment. The Guide is designed to help both the boys’ and girls’ youth player and explains how lacrosse equipment should feel when properly worn. Photographs and descriptions for the men's field game, women's field game, and box/indoor lacrosse are included.
“Equipment rules are an important part of both men’s and women’s lacrosse because they help to keep players safe,” said Rick Lake, men’s lacrosse director. “As part of our mission at US Lacrosse, we want to ensure that players, coaches, parents and officials are up-to-date on the equipment rules and certifications required.”
As part of the initiative, US Lacrosse has created an AED grant program that seeks to provide 100 free units annually to members of the lacrosse community. In addition, US Lacrosse has partnered with AED provider One Beat to offer significantly discounted units for immediate purchase.
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This document outlines practices/guidelines that Programs should consider and align to meet their unique situation, local healthy department and administration, State, CDC and US Lacrosse protocols as they return to play this spring.
It should be noted that programs are operating in a dynamic environment as such guidance is subject to change and it is incumbent upon programs to stay abreast of changes by federal and local governing authorities.